By Tyler Falk
Posting in Cities
A $151 billion high-speed rail development by Amtrak will make for quick trips between large U.S. cities.
A trip from Philadelphia to New York on updated infrastructure will take a sizzling 37 minutes, by 2040, according to a new Amtrak report cited by Philly.com. To put that number into context, the neighboring big cities are separated by nearly 100 miles. A car ride would take about 2 hours depending on traffic conditions. And, currently, a trip on Amtrak's fastest train, the Acela, takes about 1 hour and 11 minutes.
The improved high-speed rail plan is part of a $151 billion redevelopment of Amtrak's Northeast Corridor line. To accomodate the high-speed rail between Washington, D.C. and Boston Amtrak will have to build new tracks and other infrastructure. But, eventually, trains will travel at up to 220 miles per hour between the two cities.
From Paul Nussbaum of Philly.com, here's more on Amtrak's proposed line and why high-speed rail in this particular part of the U.S. is so important:
In Philadelphia, Amtrak envisions bullet trains traveling in tunnels beneath the city, with stops at a new airport station and an expanded Market East station. The plan calls for 30th Street Station, now the city's main intercity rail hub, to be used for slower regional train service.
The current corridor between Washington and Boston is old and crowded, with highways, airports, and railroads that are unable to handle growing population and demand, Amtrak president Joseph Boardman said. Without ambitious rail expansion, the region's economy will be stifled, he said.
"I think what's at stake here is the global economic engine of the Northeast," Boardman said in an interview. "The business community in the Northeast has to wake up - they're at risk."
Nussbaum also lays out Amtrak's proposed timeline:
- 2015: Addition of 40 Acela Express passenger cars increasing capacity by 40 percent.
- 2020: Double Acela service between Washington, D.C. and New York. Upgrade tracks and signals to to increase train speed to 160 miles per hour. Philly to New York in 62 minutes.
- 2025: $14.7 billion "Gateway" project improves access to New York with new tunnels, an expanded station and an upgraded bridge.
- 2030: Complete high-speed rail corridor from Washington to New York. Washington to Philly in 54 minutes.
- 2040: Northeast Corridor high-speed rail complete.
Of course, the timing will depended on federal (along with local and state) funding. The estimated amount needed from the federal government is about $75 billion.
Now, if only the construction of the project could be as high-speed as the future train.
For more see: "Amtrak's high-speed Northeast Corridor plan at $151 billion" (Philly.com)
Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Kgrr
Jul 8, 2012
In Canada, plans have been floated about over the last 20 years, but nothing concrete, for the "Golden horseshoe" (Hamilton, Toronto, Montreal corridor). Currently, it takes 5-6 hours to get from Toronto to Montreal, but a decent (200km/hr) train could do it in 2.5. Commuter train/bus to/from Hamilton takes 1.5 hours. It could be done in 30 minutes. It is just ridiculous the cost of commuting is placing on our economy. House prices within (currently) decent commuting distances are outrageous (averaging over $500,000 for a starter home).
I admire you dimonic, for your comments of July 9th, that you appreciate the progress making effort done by Amtrak for the Philadelphia - New York fast track NE corridor train. Until recently I too was envious of the entire world making train progress except for USA. Here in the USA there is a lot of political opposition to modernization of trains. But Obama and his visionary team has made this effort possible. California, Colarado and some of the other States are thinking progressively, while the general thought is to wear a dumb hat and do nothing! I am just as angry and frustrated as you are.